[Opinion] Jonathan Drouin, smuggler and hero

Everyone, without exception, will identify with someone during their life: their father, their mother, a star, a tyrant. The choices are endless. But be careful: make no mistake, because some of them can lead us to war! In sports, far from politics, we will generally identify with the athlete reaching the top in his field. In hockey, some identify with the go-getter, some with the goaltender, but most of the time we focus first on the team, then on the scorers, on the top scorers. This was the case, in Quebec, with the Richards, the Béliveaus, the Lafleurs, now with the Nick Suzukis and the Cole Caufields.

Personally, for the past few years, I have identified with Jonathan Drouin, of the Montreal Canadiens. Why Drouin? In a recent interview, defender David Savard blew the answer: he’s an “incredible passer”. We can not say it better.

At the start of the 2019 season, everyone remembers, Drouin was playing wonderfully well. However, in November 2019, Aleksandr Ovechkin tackled Drouin in the middle of the ice. According to CBC journalist Martin Leclerc, this was the turning point in his career (see his article of November 11, 2022 as well as his analysis on April 14, 2023).

Drouin will go from injury to injury, and not just physical. In April 2021, Drouin left the rink and the public space. A few months later, the young hockey player broke the ice. “Throughout the year, I had anxiety problems, insomnia problems, he revealed in an interview with journalist Renaud Lavoie broadcast on TVA Sports. […] I got sick, I had no energy to play hockey. […] I asked for help for the anxiety, for the insomnia. »

“I continue to live”

Since his return, Drouin has not worked miracles. So many commentators have lost their temper. On February 16, on TVA TV, before the deadline for exchanges, sports host Jean-Charles Lajoie (JiC) poured out long minutes on the future of Jonathan Drouin. To hear it, the hockey player no longer had much “value”. On April 14, he added: “Drouin was a failure all along the line. This is a fine example of contemptuous comment, a fine example of judgment without nuance in the public space.

Hey, commentators, are we still living as if we were in the age of survival? In politics, always on the defensive; on the ice, should our heroes learn to play the hard way?

Admittedly, hockey is a sport of speed and skill, a competitive sport that is played in addition in a restricted space, which inevitably leads to a game of roughness and an obsession: to score a goal. However, what transcends the rink to get to the spectators is the team game itself, that is to say the collaboration necessary for the sequence of actions in order to achieve the objective. Hence the identification, even in adversity, with the team.

The meaning of the game is the meaning of the relay. As in communication, it happens one to one (or one to one, or one to one, of course). In hockey, the passing game is the key to the sequence of actions, precisely where Jonathan Drouin excels.

To grasp the meaning of the game, the pleasure of exchanges, let’s think of another sport, tennis: who would want to watch a tennis match that would be reduced to the display of a first serve scrolling over 240 km? What amazes us is rather the prolonged exchange, the agility of the players to continue the exchange as long as possible.

On March 18, Drouin simply declared: “I continue to live. This guy amazes me. He stays upright under a ton of pressure. I don’t know if Drouin is a good spouse and a good father, but as a smuggler, his contribution seems exemplary to me.

To see in video

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